Just over two years ago the Philippines was hit by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the largest to ever hit the area. That day more than one million houses were damaged or destroyed, leaving millions of people homeless and in need. Fortunately the International Red Cross took on the mission to make a difference, and now in those 2 short years they’ve managed to make quite an impact.
To target for the Red Cross was to replace, build, or repair just over 80,000 homes in the 3 years following the disaster. At the time of the announcement many people thought the Red Cross’ goal was very ambitious but now the Red Cross is happy to report 66,000 homes have been built or repaired for displaced families to move into. The Red Cross is happy to report that they are working much faster than originally planned and the support is showing no signs of slowing down, they’re on track to finish the 80,200 homes in the next 6 months.
So far dozens of small villages and towns have been almost completely rebuilt thanks to the efforts of the Red Cross. There have been thousands and thousands of lives impacted by the donations and volunteer time put in and the people of the Philippines are nothing but thankful. Local Red Cross officials say they’ve been receiving constant messages of thanks and support from the families that have moved into the new homes, for most of these families this is literally the first time they’ve had a home since the typhoon struck.
The Red Cross estimates that there are close to 200 families per week moving into new homes around the country. This is a truly staggering result that even Red Cross officials are surprised at. This has been one of the fastest and most efficient rebuilding efforts ever led by the Red Cross around the world. Officials say they plan to gather any knowledge they can regarding the effectiveness and attempt to apply it to future projects around the world as well.
In addition to providing new and renovated homes to the people displaced the Red Cross is offering training and educational sessions so people better understand what to do in the event of a typhoon or flood. All of the new homes being built are designed to withstand much stronger storms, they provide sheltered areas inside to keep the families safe if another tragedy should strike. The Red Cross is also building community shelters that families can go to if another typhoon hits. These structures are very similar to many of the hurricane structures that have been built in the United States, and the Red Cross is hopeful that next time a large Typhoon hits the islands of the Philippines the outcome will be much better.